Monday 16 September 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Ar-Razzaq - The Sustainer

Ar Razzāq " ٱلْرَّزَّاقُ ", pronounced as Ar Razzaaq, is that attribute of Allah which exhibits His immense ability to Sustain his creations by Providing them means of substance and easing the life and living on them. Indeed He is the sole Bestower, The All Provider and Sustainer.

Besides, He is the Only One who looks after physically and spiritually.

The Arabic word ٱلْرَّزَّاقُ  is from the root word " رِزْقrizq, which literally means sustenance, and has a linguistic sense of, “giving” or “apportionment, thus Ar Razzaq is the One Who bestows or gives means of subsistence. Rain is also called rizq; it helps sustain every living being on our planet. The warmth of the sun is also rizq for it helps germinate plants and ensure their growth that when mature and ripe are means of sustenance for all type of living creatures. Even the air that we breathe is a form of rizq from Allah. 

The word رِزْق " rizq in normal understanding is taken as wages, income, money, wealth, for the earning of something good, be it during the life of this world or in the life to come, or it may be applied to one's lot or fortune, or even to anything eaten.

الَّذِيۡنَ يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡغَيۡبِ وَ يُقِيۡمُوۡنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰهُمۡ يُنۡفِقُوۡنَۙ‏ 

"for those who believe in the existence of that which is beyond the reach of perception,4 who establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them" [Al Qur'an Surah Al Baqarah 2:3]

The attribute The Provider (Ar Razzāqthus means “the One who has created provision and those provided for, and He has conveyed that provision to them. And He has created the means whereby they may enjoy and benefit from these blessings.” [Ghazali, al-Maqsad al-Asna fi Sharh Asma’ Allah al-Husna]

إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ

"Surely Allah is the One Who bestows sustenance, the Lord of Power, the Strong One." (Al Qur'an, Surah Az-Zariyat 51:58)

And the beauty of this attribute of Allah is that Allah provides sustenance to all of humankind, whether they are believers or non-believers, and all of His creations including animals and plants:
“And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.”  [ Al Qur'an, Surah Hud verse 6 ]
Rizq in fact is an all encompassing word which can be defined as anything that brings benefits or goodness to us. Thus, rizq besides wealth, also encompasses family ties, spirituality, our faith, intellect, health and everything else that are beneficial to us and can help us fulfil our duties and obligations to serve and obey Allah, and care for this earth. 

And what has been earmarked for a creature or a living being in its lifetime will be given to him, whether all at once, or in bits and pieces. Prophet of Allah has been quoted as saying: “A soul will not die until it gets all of the provision that has been apportioned for it”.

وَمَا مِنۡ دَآ بَّةٍ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ اِلَّا عَلَى اللّٰهِ رِزۡقُهَا وَ يَعۡلَمُ مُسۡتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسۡتَوۡدَعَهَا​ؕ كُلٌّ فِىۡ كِتٰبٍ مُّبِيۡنٍ‏ 

There is not a single moving creature on the earth but Allah is responsible for providing its sustenance. He knows where it dwells and where it will permanently rest.6 All this is recorded in a clear Book. [Al Qur'an  Surah Hud 11:6]

It is being emphasized in the above verse of the Qur'an that Allah is the One Who knows the nest where the tiniest sparrow lives and the hole where the smallest insect resides, and provides their sustenance to them wherever they be. Even insects and small creatures have been seen encased in stones and yet found alive, for Allah doesn't forget His creations and sustains them no matter where they may be. Even in vast stretches of deserts, there numerous living being sustained well by Allah.

If we really look around, we will be amazed to find how many means of rizq have been bestowed on to us. Plants and trees, which are being cut mercilessly to make way for houses and buildings, are not useless for these play a role in producing the oxygen we breathe. The deforestation that is taking place around the world is thus causing numerous health issues besides climatic changes, for these have been provided to us for our sustenance. But we are trying to destroy these and still persisting to live.

Ar Razzāq is a superlative of "al-Raziq," the One Who provides rizq. As mentioned earlier, "rizq" is of two types: one that sustains the body, such as food and drink, while the other sustains the soul, which is knowledge and true inspiration. The latter is the best type of sustenance simply because what sustains the soul lasts forever, while what sustains the body has a temporary duration. Offering Salah / prayer is the best means to be spiritually benefitted, just like remembering Allah all the time  and thanking Him fr all His bounties and means of sustenance so provided to us, whether we deserved or did not. This is the great attribute of Allah for He sustains everyone across the board, whether someone believes in Him or not.

What this attribute of Allah expects of us? This simply means that as we have been sustained by Allah and given rizq in abundance, we must not keep this rizq for our use only. But we must dole out a portion of it to the needy so they they also live comfortably. The concept of Zakat in Islam amply ensure distribution of wealth so that everyone has some means of sustenance.

You may refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allah" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.

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